If you are not from Austin, Texas or if you live in Austin and don’t get out much you may think Austin is FLAT just like Dallas or Houston. Well what many don’t know is that West and Southwest Austin have a lot of hill country complete with rolling hills and awesome Lake Travis views that in some cases make you feel like you are in San Diego.
What is also cool about Southwest Austin is that there are a lot of things to do with your family. While there are too many to pick from I’m going to give you a few of my favorites that I, my wife, and that my two kids absolutely love. If you are interested I’m sure you can find more about southwest Austin on one of my many blog posts.
- Austin Zoo – this is a little known secret however Austin actually has a zoo. It’s not the San Diego zoo however it has over 300 animals representing over 100 species to look at the keep our kids entertained. What began as a goat ranch grew to a non profit that rescues & rehabs exotic animals such as cats, primates, birds, reptiles, domestic animals, and native Texas Wildlife. Our kids especially like to see the tigers, lions, monkeys, and Lemurs. The Austin zoo currently uses about 15 acres however has plans to expand to another 40 as more donations come in. Over 235,000 people visit the zoo annually. There is also a petting zoo where your kids and feed and pet some of the animals as well as a train to ride around the premises.
- Hamilton Pool Nature Trail – This is a natural pool located in Southwest Austin that was created thousands of years ago when the dome of an underground river collapsed because of erosion. It’s located about 23 miles West of Austin off of Hwy 71. Austin residents and visitors have been visiting the Hamilton Pool Reserve since the 1960’s. After a short hike from the parking lot to the pool you will be amazed at how beautiful it is. It’s our own little “wonder of the world”. The preserve is over 232 acres and has a jade green pool with a 50 ft water fall.
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – 10 miles SW of downtown Austin this is a botanical garden that is open to the public. It attracts over 100,000 visitors each year. Over 700 Central Texas native species are available to see as well as art exhibits, outdoor sculptures, and walking trails. The center is a research unit of UT Austin that is devoted to research and education regarding native plants.
If you interested in doing things in Northwest Austin click here.